Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

System provides clear brain scans of awake, unrestrained mice

Date:
April 9, 2013
Source:
DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Summary:
Researchers have shown that the AwakeSPECT system can obtain detailed, functional images of the brain of a freely moving, conscious mouse.

Three markers attached to the head of a mouse enable the AwakeSPECT system to obtain detailed, functional images of the brain of a conscious mouse as it moves around.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Setting a mouse free to roam might alarm most people, but not so for nuclear imaging researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Johns Hopkins Medical School and the University of Maryland who have developed a new imaging system for mouse brain studies.

Related Articles


Scientists use dynamic imaging of mice to follow changes in brain chemistry caused by the progression of disease or the application of a drug as an effective research tool for developing better ways to diagnose disease and formulate better treatments. In most nuclear imaging studies, laboratory mice are typically drugged or bound in place so that their brains can be studied. However, the results of such research can be tainted by subjecting the mice to such chemical or physical restraints, complicating studies of Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinson's disease.

But for their nuclear medicine imaging studies, the researchers from Jefferson Lab, Oak Ridge, Johns Hopkins and Maryland used a new system they developed to acquire functional images of the brains of conscious, unrestrained and un-anesthetized mice. The so-called AwakeSPECT system was then used to document for the first time the effects of anesthesia on the action of a dopamine transporter imaging compound in the mouse brain. Such dopamine transporter imaging compounds are used for Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinson's disease studies.

SPECT is Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography. In this technique, a radionuclide is injected, where it collects in specific areas of the brain by function. The radionuclide emits gamma rays (single photons) that are collected by a detector in separate scans from many different angles. The scans are combined in an algorithm to produce a three-dimensional image.

"The AwakeSPECT system does regular SPECT imaging of mice. SPECT is a nuclear medicine imaging technique that's used in humans for various types of diagnostic studies. It's also used in animal studies to facilitate the development and understanding of disease physiology," says Jefferson Lab's Drew Weisenberger, who led the multi-institutional collaboration and directed the SPECT system development effort.

Weisenberger says the AwakeSPECT system uses two Jefferson Lab custom-built gamma cameras to image the radionuclide, as well as a system that processes the data to produce the three-dimensional images. An infrared camera system developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory tracks movement of the mouse. Finally, a commercially available CT system provides additional anatomical information.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical School, led by Martin Pomper, conducted the first mouse imaging studies with the new system. To prepare a mouse for imaging with AwakeSPECT, it is first tagged with three markers that are glued to its head for the infrared system to track. Once the radionuclide is injected, the mouse can then be imaged as it rests in a homey, burrow-like, clear tube. The beauty of the system is that it doesn't require that the mouse (or potentially people, at a later stage) remain motionless. Two patents have been awarded to Jefferson Lab for the innovative technology associated with this system.

"We developed this system that, while acquiring SPECT images, uses infrared cameras that track the location and pose of the head. We use that information to then computationally remove motion artifacts from our SPECT imaging," he says.

In this recent study published online in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, the researchers showed that AwakeSPECT can obtain detailed, functional images of the brain of a conscious mouse, as the mouse moves around freely in an enclosure.

Researchers also imaged the action of a drug often used to image dopamine transport in the brain, 123I-ioflupane, in awake and anesthetized mice. They found that the drug was absorbed less than half as well in awake mice, showing that the use of anesthetic could potentially confound drug uptake studies.

"We've shown the technology works. Now, you just have to make it a tool that more people will readily use" Weisenberger says.

Weisenberger says the next step is to improve the AwakeSPECT imager by upgrading the infrared tracking system, using newer technology for the SPECT imager, and by making the system more intuitive for animal researchers to operate.

Early funding for the program was provided by DOE's Office of Science, and more recent support has been provided by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. S. Baba, C. J. Endres, C. A. Foss, S. Nimmagadda, H. Jung, J. S. Goddard, S. Lee, J. McKisson, M. F. Smith, A. V. Stolin, A. G. Weisenberger, M. G. Pomper. Molecular Imaging of Conscious, Unrestrained Mice with AwakeSPECT. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.2967/jnumed.112.109090

Cite This Page:

DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. "System provides clear brain scans of awake, unrestrained mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409131917.htm>.
DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. (2013, April 9). System provides clear brain scans of awake, unrestrained mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409131917.htm
DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. "System provides clear brain scans of awake, unrestrained mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409131917.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins